She has made her fortune designing fashion collections that encourage women to change their outfits with each season.
However Dame Vivienne Westwood now claims the fairer sex struggle to dress themselves because they have ‘too much choice and not enough taste’.
Giving an interview, the eccentric designer, 73, said men dress better than their girlfriends or wives because their dress code is more straightforward, meaning they have less in their wardrobes to choose from.
And the punk designer, who was instrumental in the rebellious movement, which sought to challenge the status quo, also appeared to turn her back on the crusade.
Far from it being anarchic rebellion, she described it merely as a ‘marketing opportunity’ that served to generate publicity for her.
Speaking to BBC Radio 3 programme Private Passions, in which celebrities reveal how music has influenced their lives, Dame Vivienne said: ‘Do I dare say that generally speaking men, because of this code, usually dress better than their wives, who have too much choice and not enough taste probably.’
It is not the first time the designer, whose style earned her the nickname the Queen of Punk, has criticised women’s ability to choose their clothes.
Last year the designer, whose fashion range features dresses which cost almost £1,000, said women were guilty of buying clothes ‘for the sake of it’ and without thought. And she urged them to invest in quality over quantity.
Dame Vivienne, who caused controversy when she collected her OBE with no knickers on, then exposed herself to photographers outside, was instrumental in the punk movement of the 1970s.
She and her former lover Malcolm McLaren, who managed the outrageously dressed punk rock group Sex Pistols, launched the Chelsea boutique SEX.
The shop was full of naked headless mannequins, and ‘punk style’ clothing featuring whips and chains.
It was symbolic of the movement, which sought to challenge the status quo.
However, speaking to composer and broadcaster Michael Berkeley, Dame Vivienne said it was simply a ‘marketing opportunity’.
She said: ‘I don’t think I’ve done at all what you say [challenging the status quo]. Regarding punk I just think that all that happened was it provided the marketing opportunity and the marketing opportunity supported the establishment because, you know, “aren’t we great rebels, you know, we’ve got freedom of speech and trust us” it was terrible.’
The interview will be broadcast on Sunday December 21 at 12pm and is part of BBC’s classical music line-up for Christmas, which also includes a week of live concerts from the Temple Winter Festival on Radio 3.
Dame Vivienne is married to her second husband, Andreas Kronthaler, who is 25 years her junior.
She has two sons: Joseph, who co-founded Agent Provocateur, from her love affair with McClaren, and Ben, from her first marriage to Derek Westwood.
Dame Vivienne continues to design clothing lines, which are sold on Net-A-Porter and her website, as well as in high-end department store Selfridge’s.
The vegetarian also campaigns for environmental issues and earlier this year appeared in a video campaign for the charity PETA, urging people to use less water in the shower.
Last month she delivered a petition to Downing Street outlining concerns about genetically modified crops. And she said people should ‘eat less’ if they cannot afford to shop organically.